EC Concerned About How Voice Assistants Collect User Data
The European Commission (EC) has published the preliminary results of its review of the voice assistant market in terms of compliance with antitrust rules. The inspection was launched in July last year, and EC representatives interviewed representatives from more than 200 companies involved in the Internet of Things.
The company representatives interviewed cite several potential problems with the voice assistant market. These include tying voice assistant to company-specific services and limiting the ability to use multiple voice assistants on a single smart device. Companies have also expressed concern that voice assistants are effectively becoming intermediaries between users, on the one hand, and smart gadgets and IoT services, on the other. They are also concerned about the fact that voice assistants have access to vast amounts of user data, which gives a competitive advantage to companies developing such systems.
Public debate on the report published today will continue until September, with a final version due in the first half of 2022. « When we started our review of the sector, we were concerned that there was a risk of gatekeepers in the sector. We were concerned that they could use their power to the detriment of competition and to the detriment of growing businesses and consumers. It is clear from the first results published today that many in the sector share our concerns, » said Margrethe Vestager, vice president of the EU’s Digital Policy Authority. The report’s findings could be used to regulate this market in the future, she said.